Twenty-four moose have been hit by vehicles in the past 22 months in Latah County, with 11 of the collisions happening in one spot along U.S. 95.
“If we keep hitting them at this rate, somebody is going to get killed,” Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officer Clint Rand said.
The latest accident happened Tuesday night when 19-year-old Katrina Reigner of Moscow was driving about five miles north of town.
“I came up onto the top of Steakhouse Hill and started down and the moose darted out in front of me,” Reigner said. “I smacked her at about 50 miles an hour.”
The animal, estimated to weigh about 1,000 pounds, fell onto the hood of Reigner’s compact car and slid into the windshield, breaking it out.
Reigner was treated and released from the Moscow hospital.
The moose, suffering breaks to both back legs, crawled off to the side where a deputy killed it.
Most of the human injuries associated with the accidents have been minor. One woman last year, however, was flown by helicopter to Spokane for treatment of serious injuries, Rand said.
All 11 mishaps involving moose on Steakhouse Hill, he said, have happened within a few hundred feet either side of one milepost.
“You’ve got the recipe here for a moose-killing zone,” Rand said. Two-way traffic clips over the hill at 60 mph and the moose population in the area seems to be growing steadily.
The only warning signs in the state depicting a bull moose were successful in halting accidents, but they were quickly stolen, Rand said.
All but perhaps one of the accidents happened in the dark. Rand said moose not only are almost black, but they tend to stand their ground.
Map of area